UK
19/10/2013 05:19 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Immigration Detention Centre Blaze Leaves One In Hospital

PA
Police outside Campsfield House immigration removal centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire.

Two men are in hospital following a fire at an immigration detention centre, the Home Office has said.

The cause of the blaze at the privately-run Campsfield House centre in Kidlington is not yet known.

Ten fire engines were called to battle the flames at the immigration removal centre at 9pm last night.

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People living nearby described seeing the emergency services arriving and a strong smell of smoke.

A woman, who declined to be named, said she and her husband heard sirens and looked out of their front door towards a side entrance into the compound to see "four or five fire engines at about 9pm, coming down the road".

"I could smell smoke but it was hazy and damp last night so it was difficult to see anything over there," she said.

Another couple, who have lived near to the centre for four years, said it was "quiet" and there had been no trouble in the time they had been there.

Their neighbour, a woman who has lived in the road more than 30 years, said she smelled what she thought was "bonfire smoke", later hearing sirens.

She said there had been very little trouble over the years. "We had some escapees a few years ago, maybe six years ago, but they caught them.

"They caught one of them in a back garden in a house up the road, but we've had no trouble at all since."

A number of detainees are being relocated to other centres because of damage to the building, a Home Office spokesman said.

The spokesman added that around half of the detainees are being relocated to other centres.

The UK Border Agency website says the centre - privately run by MITIE - has space for 216 beds.

It describes Campsfield House as a long-term centre for men, who are detained pending the outcome of their immigration case and subsequent removal.